Top 5 Freshwater Angelfish Tank Mates: Find Compatible Fish

5 min read

Angelfish are great fish to have in your aquarium, but sometimes you want more than just one kind of fish to look at.

Having just one species would make your aquarium somewhat boring. Every hobbyist dreams of a vibrant tank that is brimming with various kinds of fish.

However, you can’t just put whatever fish you like together and expect things to work out. No – you need to figure out what fish is compatible with angelfish before you go shopping.

That’s where we come in: we’ll help you find great angelfish tank mates that can make your aquarium interesting to look at.

Let’s get started.

How to Find Good Tank Mates for Angelfish


It’s not hard to find freshwater angelfish tank mates. You just have to take the following factors into consideration.

Fish Size

It’s a fish eat fish world out there. Here’s a rule of thumb: if one of your fish is small enough to be eaten by another, it probably will be.

Since they are natural predators, angelfish do eat other fish that are small enough. Compounding the issue is the fact that they can grow quite big: adults can reach 6-8 inches in length. They are somewhat fast as well.

Anything that can fit in their mouths is fair game, so your options are limited to fish bigger than an inch in size. That rules out dwarf shrimp, microrasboras, and even guppies.

If you are intent on getting a fish with a size discrepancy, at least get adults so that they are big enough to avoid ending up in the larger fish’s belly.

Water Conditions

Of course, you should look for fish that can tolerate similar conditions as your angelfish, unless you want them to suffer.

First off, angelfish are tropical fish that prefer a temperature range of 76-84 °F. That means you cannot keep goldfish and angelfish together, as the former likes colder water.

Angelfish also like slightly acidic water and prefer soft water.


The biggest problem with keeping two different species together is that they may fight each other; in fact, aquarium keepers even struggle with the same kind of fish fighting each other.

Angelfish have some aggressive tendencies, especially when they are breeding. So you should look for docile tank mates for angelfish.

That is why you can’t have angelfish with betta fish – these two species will probably fight it out in the same tank.

Your angelfish can be the victim of aggression as well – fin nippers such as tiger barbs and serpae tetras can target the long-flowing fins of angelfish.

Tank Level

Certain fish like to occupy different levels of your tank. Choosing species that prefer different levels can make sure that they leave each other alone.

Angelfish likes to dwell at the top of the tank; that means you can choose a bottom dweller such as a pleco and have no confrontation between the two species.

Getting a large tank can make sure that each fish species has plenty of room for themselves without getting into each other’s faces. Angelfish require a minimum of 20 gallons.  

Here are the Top 5 Angelfish Tank Mates

1.     Corydoras Catfish


The Corydoras Catfish are great tank mates angelfish wouldn’t mind living alongside with. They hail from South America, just like angelfish, so they can thrive in similar conditions.

These bottom feeders wouldn’t usually cross paths with the angels that dwell at the top. They have a peaceful temperament and would just mind about their business. As an added bonus, they act as cleaners for your tank.

If you are going to get Corydoras Catfish, get at least five of them, as they need to live in a group. It will be interesting to watch a school of them forage at the bottom of your tank.

They also require the same minimum tank size as angelfish (20 gallons), so a good option all in all.

2.     Dwarf Gouramis

Dwarf Gouramis

Dwarf Gouramis are peaceful and brightly colored – what more reason do you need to add them to your angelfish tank?

They tend to be a bit shy and like to hide, so make sure there are plants in your aquarium where they can take refuge (angelfish likes vegetation too).

While they are generally peaceful, having more than one male dwarf gouramis will disturb the peace in your aquarium as they will relentlessly fight each other.

3.     Bristlenose Pleco

Bristlenose Pleco

The Bristlenose Plecos, also called the Bushynose Plecos, are good tank mates for angelfish. They are also bottom feeders that will be relegated to the lower levels of your tank.

The Bristlenose is mainly nocturnal and has an effective camouflage, so your angelfish wouldn’t even realize they are there.

Sometimes, it is a great idea to get fish that don’t look like fish – that’s where the Bristlenose comes in: it enhances the bio-variety of your aquarium.

While the Bristlenose is a great pick, other plecos aren’t such a bad idea either. If you want more colors, you can go for the snowball pleco, clown pleco, or the L333 pleco.

4.     Tetras


Most Tetras make good companions for your angelfish and they come in a variety of colors. A shoal of these active fish keeps your aquarium busy all the time and is tantalizing to watch.

The Black Skirt Tetra is a good pick as they are peaceful mates for your angelfish; they even slightly resemble the angelfish with stripes on their sides.

Other colorful options at your disposal include lemon tetras, rosy tetras, and bleeding heart tetras.

You might be tempted to get neon tetras or cardinal tetras, but they are a tad too small – you risk them becoming lunch to your angelfish. You can push your luck by only getting adults, getting more than 5, and giving them plenty of hiding spots.

Stay away from serpae tetras – they are notorious fin nippers and will harass your angelfish.

5.     Mollies


Mollies are another angelfish compatible fish. For one, they are large enough to avoid being eaten – they can reach 5 inches in length.

Angelfish and mollies will go along well as the latter is peaceful yet playful. Mollies are fast and can get away should the angelfish approach them.

As an added advantage, mollies are quite easy to take care of; in fact, they are considered as beginner fish. You will have no trouble keeping them in the same conditions as your angelfish.


If you are considering more than one kind of fish for your aquarium, you need to make sure they are compatible with each other. Do your research before you introduce two random species together with unintended consequences.

We have provided you with 5 good options for angelfish tank mates. You don’t necessarily have to restrict yourself to these 5 – as long as they fit the criteria we discussed you can go for any suitable species.

You can make it easier for yourself if you get a large enough tank with plenty of hiding spots. That way, fish can stay away from each other if there is any trouble.

With these new additions to your angelfish tank, your aquarium will feel more complete and more interesting to watch.

Thanks for reading.


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